Wednesday, December 30, 2009
I finally bit the bullet and bought a new MTB from Hedley. I got a Giant Anthem X2 and it looks pretty sharp. This morning Lea, her brother Danny, the Boss and Kurt and I went along Valley Station Rd with the plan to come back up the Mangakirikiri.
I felt really comfortable on the Giant. It climbed very well and it is a comfortable ride - once I get used to turning the shocks back on again!
When we got to the Mangakirikiri Kurt discovered he didn't have his sunglasses and he last remembered tucking them into his shirt before the big climb to Valley Station. Since it was his birthday I offered to go back the way we came with him while the others enjoyed a nice ride up the stream. This involved a 20 minute walk back up the track to the top of the little sisters and then a more pleasant ride along the top. We had a good idea they would be lying in the grass somewhere near he had a good fall and sure enough I spotted them in the grass.
We then charged down Valley Station and hurtled down the road towards the skid site almost colliding with the others coming back up to look for us. Kurt was a bit behind me so was chasing hard down the hill when he lost control, leapt over his handlebars, catching his foot on them, landing on his head and seeing his bike hurtle on by itself. Most of this was viewed by the boss who couldn't believe seeing an unmanned mtb heading through the trees!
What a great birthday treat for Kurt!
It was quite a slog home into a stiff wind but we had coffee, the Boss' homemade Xmas mince pies and Lea's Mud cake to dine on.
Danny biked strongly and technically very well, but it was good to see him stuffed at the end. He's certainly got those Vellenoweth calves!
The one drawback with the Giant is that it is a pain to clean as it has this complicated set of pivots and arms for the rear suspension.
I've been feeling great about last night's summer cycle race as we were caught early by the scratch bunch, but I was able to stay with them until hospital hill and was able to break from the rest of my group. I expected a fast time but was disappointed to have done 23.04, which is my fastest yet, but only by 2 seconds. That 23 min barrier is proving hard to break and I am not sure how I can go any faster!
Saturday, December 26, 2009
It was Lea's idea to do a Boxing Day ride in the Blue Mountains to justify her huge servings of Xmas pud. So I set the alarm for 6.30 and the Boss and Lea turned up for coffee and we headed to Vallet Stn Rd for a pleasurable, enjoyable ride.
All was going well until the top point of Valley Station when a windfall tree's branch hooked my chain and snapped off my rear derailleur! We expertly broke the chain and relinked the Kona as a single speed and I headed back while the other two carried on to the Mangakirikiri. However, I was so enjoying the single speed sexperience that I turned left at the creek to meet them coming up stream. I had a great time hurtling down the track, getting some air and coping with the windfall.
When I met them I noticed the chain was super tight and the pedals could hardly go around. After some tutuing we were off again, but by the time I got to Gaskill's Bridge I could hardly pedal again.
William Ellis stopped in his truck and delivered me to the bottom of Tirohanga Road so at least I could ride the last kilometre, but the strain of gettin up Hanaia Rd was too much for the chain so it snapped!
Is it time to give in?
The fun syarted on Xmas Eve when Lucy and I conducted a great secret manouver to liberate a Xmas Tree to our lounge. A couple of bevvies for Dutch Courage and the complete action took less than a minute from stopping the car, leaping out, cutting the manacles and liberating it to the back of the car before speeding off with high fives!
You can see it in the photo with an awesome santa at the top.
The actual day was spent with Leigh, Lucy and Thomas, MumnDad, Janine and Emma and Adrian S who joined the Abraham Whanau. Pete and Lea and Maia dropped in for a drink and we all drank fine champers. gewurts, temparillo and cabernet sauvignon, threw the frisbee and had mussels off the BBQ and ham and chicken and spuds and Xmas pud. We had a great, relaxing stress free day and I was asleep by 7.30pm!
Lucy got me the Chris Knox tribute, Stroke, which I really wanted and Leigh bought me a trilogy of some dead guy's only novels which are hugely thick and will take months to read. I think she wanted them for herself.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Most of the ride was heading south up the Waioweka river bed with 5 river crossings and a lot of bone jiggling time riding over the rocky river bed.
The highlight of the ride was the awesome swimming hole where we escaped from the heat of the day. The young bucks tried to outdo each other on the swing until Old Man Dennis showed them how to do it.
Heading home down hospital hill we were met with the high pressure hose from the fire engine. Somehow I knew there was going to be some skullduggery and escaped a major wetting.
The feed and beers at Craig's bar were great but because Leigh was hungover from the night before we headed home before getting caught up in the mayhem later in the night. Mark may have had a technicolour yawn in Kim's car and George would have woken up very thirsty.
Middle-aged Lea, who pulled out after one lap last Tuesday, didn't make Thursday's MTB at Te Waiti and missed the Xmas ride, Dennis, who made the Xmas booze up despite it being his 25th wedding anniversary, Brian, who really joined in on the festivities and myself met at the Waioweka Bridge this morning and had a great two hour ride around Paerata and Ohiwa followed up with coffee, cake and biscuits at Dennis'.
Holidays are great!
This track is in great condition and is one of the best single track rides in the district. And to finish off with some snags and beers was great.
Just a sit was getting a bit rowdy a young couple in a camper van drove down to the boulders and joined us. I think they thought they were going to a quiet secluded spot but came across a bunch of hillbillies and escapees.
Click here to see a few photos.